Sunday, July 28, 2013

Heat Wave

It's good to take a short pause in our busy schedule and report our activities.  Since the 4th of July we have had another transfer with the arrival of 30 new missionaries and only12 going home, 8 were new Sister missionaries. The interesting thing is that they came from 6 different countries: Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Croatia, Finland and the USA.  We continue to love the diversity. The number of lessons taught each week has continued to increase to a new high this past week of 1890. The number of member's present for lesson teaches is up.  The number of baptismal dates is increasing.  Our hope is that the number of convert baptisms will start to follow.  We are very close to having the highest number of baptisms for the month of July than we have had in the mission since we arrived 13 months ago. The Work of Salvation training video for members has been very good in helping us get the members more involved in the work. We continue to search for ways to be more productive.
     The weather has been very hot for England; We have been having a heat wave, UP TO 35 DEGREES Celsius. That is 95 F. and it is very humid. They do not have air conditioning in our homes or Chapels so we feel it, especially at night. It also has been very dry, not much rain. The lawns are turning very brown as they don't have sprinkler systems.
     We are in the midst of Zone conferences, we had two last week and will have our third one next Tuesday.  We have three zones in each one with about 80 to 100 missionaries in each.  They usually start at 10.00am, break for lunch, then continue till about 3pm. We attended a baptism Thursday and we are going to another one tonight.  We talk in church tomorrow in the Catford Ward, Wandsworth Stake.  There is another baptism after church in that Ward. It is always nice to be with the Saints in their wards.  The culture is so diverse.
     The mission continues to grow.  We are now at 230 young sisters and elders, with 21 couples.  That number will increase to 260 by October 2nd. It is hard to get to know all of them by name and background.  We have had 95 new missionaries in the past 90 days. Over half of our companionships are training new missionaries.  This seems to be the pattern all over the world.  It is what is know as the "Wave". This shows the board in the Office in the Mission Home. The ones tilted are going home next transfer.  The yellow means they go home in 2012, green is 2014, and blue they go home in 2015.

     The next picture is another wall showing the 60 new missionaries coming in the next two transfers.
      The British Pageant starts next week in Chorley.  It is entitled "Truth will Prevail". It depicts the early history of the church in the British Isles.  We would love to go but we can't leave our mission.  Sister Millar is quite disappointed since it is in her home town.  It will be on the grounds near the PRESTON TEMPLE.  We love our missionaries.  We also miss our family and pray for you all every day. The busy schedule and long hours are worth it because this is the work of the Lord, and Truth will prevail.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Year Two

It is so hard to believe that we have been here a year. Time moves so quickly. The mission continues to grow.  Next week is transfers.  We have 30 new missionaries coming and 12 going home. This will bring our total for young sisters and elders up to 224.  That is a number I watch because it is the number of weekly e mails I get to read. To read all these letters is time consuming but is so rewarding.  Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry, but they are always entertaining.  Here is a short excerpt from one of the letters.  You can't make this up.
     President, I would like to share a miracle with you.
          So, right after we did our 4 week reports at the chapel, we are walking back to the bus station.  Usually we are watching for a bus but we just weren't at that moment and we missed our bus. Frustrated we thought of what to do. We know there is a less active member down the road and we're deciding whether or not to go. We decide to check it out.  We see their car is not there so that is not a good sign.  We knock.  No answer. So we decide to make our journey back home.  Elder Reed suggest, should we cut through the park? Ehhhh, maaaaaayyybbbeeee. Sure, why not.  As we were going through the park we see a rather large man sitting alone on a bench. I ask, should we talk to him?  We need to catch our bus. After another minute of debate, I ask Elder Reed what kind of pass along card he has? He pulls one out and says "Where Do I Go When I Die?" Nah, do you have any others? He pulls out one that says"Does God Really Know Me?" So I take it and start heading towards him.  We show him the card and start talking to him. He is 100% against us being there for some reason.  He keeps asking stuff like "Why are you here?" "What's the point of this?" "Why are you talking to me?" etc. After a little while of explaining we are God's servants here to bring him a message, he says ".....You guys aren't going to believe me...but not more than 3 minutes ago, I typed into Google "God, please help me" and then minutes later, you two show up.......IS THAT NOT AMAZING?!  We weren't even supposed to be there! We missed our bus, and instead of going to the closest station, we go to the less active family, then to the park, and happen to get the perfect pass along card! His name is Chris and we are going to teach him this week. That was such a strong moment where both me and Elder Reed knew we were guided by the hand of the Lord.      Elders Hagedorn and Reed
      I thought you might like to get a feel for what goes on in the mission field on nearly a daily basis some where.
       Since last we posted, we have travelled through out the mission doing interviews.  We have a new car, a Toyota Avensis station wagon.  It had 5 miles on it when we picked it up last week. Just as we were driving over to the temple to turn in our old car, the odometer turned over 77,777 miles.

     Sister Millar has also had some health challenges.  She developed flu like symptoms but the GI problems went on for 6 days and she was getting a little dehydrated.  We took her to the GP who had her admitted to the hospital where she spent the next 6 days in the care of the NHS. There were a few frustrations encountered that we will not elaborate on.  She is schedule for some additional diagnostic test the next `Monday. Overall she has been a bit tired but is doing much better.  She was able to go on a trip to Plymouth earlier in the week.
      We are happy with the flowers in the yard, will attach some photos. The work in the mission continues to grow in number of teaching opportunities, and Baptismal dates. We are looking for a good week today of about 10 baptisms for the week.
 Some but not all of our Sister Missionaries. In total we have 54.
 A swan on black pond, where we like to take a walk. It is about a half mile away from our home in the woods.
 Begonias  by our back door.  Lovely.
Prettiest flower in our back yard." Brilliant", through the kitchen window from the yard.

   We love you and send our best to all.  The gospel is the Truth the Way and the Life. We feel the touch of the Master's hand in all we do.